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 SOX9
Homo sapiens
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Homo sapiens
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Mus musculus
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Homo sapiens
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Mus musculus
 PPARA
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Transcription Factor Encyclopedia  BETA
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Notable papers are listed here. Papers with two red dots are highly recommended. Articles with one or zero dots are recommended but not essential.
  1.  review article 
    (2008) Fu Z, Tindall DJ. FOXOs, cancer and regulation of apoptosis. Oncogene, 27(16):2312-9.
    Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors are involved in multiple signaling pathways and play critical roles in a number of physiological and pathological processes including cancer. The importance of FOXO factors ascribes them under multiple levels of regulation including phosphorylation, acetylation/deacetylation, ubiquitination and protein-protein interactions. As FOXO factors play a pivotal role in cell fate decision, mounting evidence suggests that FOXO factors function as tumor suppressors in a variety of cancers. FOXOs are actively involved in promoting apoptosis in a mitochondria-independent and -dependent manner by inducing the expression of death receptor ligands, including Fas ligand and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, and Bcl-2 family members, such as Bim, bNIP3 and Bcl-X(L), respectively. An understanding of FOXO proteins and their biology will provide new opportunities for developing more effective therapeutic approaches to treat cancer.
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  2.  review article 
    (2008) Peng SL. Foxo in the immune system. Oncogene, 27(16):2337-44.
    In addition to their key roles in cellular survival, death, proliferation and metabolism, the Foxo subfamily of forkhead (Fox) transcription factors play critical roles in the homeostasis of immune-relevant cells, including T cells, B cells, neutrophils and other non-lymphoid lineages that modulate inflammation in disease states such as inflammatory arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. This review summarizes such current and expanding knowledge of the Foxo family members in immunity, and their potential as therapeutic targets in inflammatory disease.
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  3. (2008) Tsai WB, Chung YM, Takahashi Y, Xu Z, Hu MC. Functional interaction between FOXO3a and ATM regulates DNA damage response. Nat. Cell Biol., 10(4):460-7.
    The maintenance of genomic stability in cells is relentlessly challenged by environmental stresses that induce DNA breaks, which activate the DNA-damage pathway mediated by ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and its downstream mediators to control damage-induced cell-cycle checkpoints and DNA repair. Here, we show that FOXO3a interacts with ATM to promote phosphorylation of ATM at Ser 1981 and prompting its downstream mediators to form nuclear foci in response to DNA damage. Silencing FOXO3a in cells abrogates the formation of ATM-pS1981 and phospho-histone H2AX foci after DNA damage. Increasing FOXO3a in cells promotes ATM-regulated signalling, the intra-S-phase or G2-M cell-cycle checkpoints, and the repair of damaged DNA, whereas cells lacking FOXO3a did not trigger the DNA-repair mechanism after DNA damage. The carboxy-terminal domain of FOXO3a binds to the FAT domain of ATM, thereby contributing to the activation of ATM. These results suggest that ATM may be regulated directly by FOXO3a in the DNA-damage response.
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  4. (2008) Zou Y, Tsai WB, Cheng CJ, Hsu C, Chung YM, Li PC, Lin SH, Hu MC. Forkhead box transcription factor FOXO3a suppresses estrogen-dependent breast cancer cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. Breast Cancer Res., 10(1):R21.
    INTRODUCTION: Estrogen receptors (ERs) play key roles in breast cancer development and influence treatment outcome in breast cancer patients. Identification of molecules that regulate ER function may facilitate development of breast cancer treatment strategies. The forkhead box class O (FOXO) transcription factor FOXO3a has been suggested to function as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer. Using protein-protein interaction screening, we found that FOXO3a interacted with ER-alpha and ER-beta proteins in the human breast carcinoma cell line MCF-7, suggesting that there exists a crosstalk between the FOXO3a and ER signaling pathways in estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells. METHODS: The interaction between FOXO3a and ER was investigated by using co-immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting assays. Inhibition of ER-alpha and ER-beta transactivation activity by FOXO was determined by luciferase reporter assays. Cell proliferation in culture was evaluated by counting cell numbers. Tumorigenesis was assessed in athymic mice that were injected with MCF-7 cell lines over-expressing FOXO3a. Protein expression levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, cyclins, ERs, FOXM1, and the proteins encoded by ER-regulated genes in MCF-7 cell lines and breast tumors were examined by immunoblotting analysis and immunohistochemical staining. RESULTS: We found that FOXO3a interacted with ER-alpha and ER-beta proteins and inhibited 17beta-estradiol (E2)-dependent, ER-regulated transcriptional activities. Consistent with these observations, expression of FOXO3a in the ER-positive MCF-7 cells decreased the expression of several ER-regulated genes, some of which play important roles in cell proliferation. Moreover, we found that FOXO3a upregulated the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21Cip1, p27Kip1, and p57Kip2. These findings suggest that FOXO3a induces cell growth arrest to effect tumor suppression. FOXO3a repressed the growth and survival of MCF-7 cells in cell culture. In an orthotopic breast cancer xenograft model in athymic mice, over-expression of FOXO3a in MCF-7 cells suppressed their E2-induced tumorigenesis, whereas knockdown of FOXO3a in MCF-7 resulted in the E2-independent growth. CONCLUSION: Functional interaction between FOXO3a and ER plays a critical role in suppressing estrogen-dependent breast cancer cell growth and tumorigenesis in vivo. This suggests that agents that activate FOXO3a may be novel therapeutic agents that can inhibit and prevent tumor proliferation and development in breast cancer.
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  5.  review article 
    (2008) Dansen TB, Burgering BM. Unravelling the tumor-suppressive functions of FOXO proteins. Trends Cell Biol., 18(9):421-9.
    Members of the forkhead box O (FOXO) family of transcription factors have been postulated to be tumor suppressors because of their established roles in cell-cycle arrest, apoptosis, DNA-damage repair and scavenging of reactive oxygen species. Recently, several animal model studies have shown that the FOXO proteins are indeed tumor suppressors. Furthermore, FOXO proteins have recently been implicated in the negative regulation of signaling by the hypoxia-inducible factor 1 during vascular development, raising the possibility that the FOXO proteins suppress not only tumor formation but also tumor angiogenesis and, possibly, metastasis. Here, we discuss recent advances in the understanding of the roles of FOXO family members in tumor suppression.
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  6.  review article 
    (2008) Calnan DR, Brunet A. The FoxO code. Oncogene, 27(16):2276-88.
    The FoxO family of Forkhead transcription factors plays an important role in longevity and tumor suppression by upregulating target genes involved in stress resistance, metabolism, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. FoxO transcription factors translate a variety of environmental stimuli, including insulin, growth factors, nutrients and oxidative stress, into specific gene-expression programs. These environmental stimuli control FoxO activity primarily by regulating their subcellular localization, but also by affecting their protein levels, DNA-binding properties and transcriptional activity. The precise regulation of FoxO transcription factors is enacted by an intricate combination of post-translational modifications (PTMs), including phosphorylation, acetylation and ubiquitination, and binding protein partners. An intriguing possibility is that FoxO PTMs may act as a 'molecular FoxO code' read by selective protein partners to rapidly regulate gene-expression programs. The effective control of FoxO activity in response to environmental stimuli is likely to be critical to prevent aging and age-dependent diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes.
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  7. (2007) Tsai KL, Sun YJ, Huang CY, Yang JY, Hung MC, Hsiao CD. Crystal structure of the human FOXO3a-DBD/DNA complex suggests the effects of post-translational modification. Nucleic Acids Res., 35(20):6984-94.
    FOXO3a is a transcription factor of the FOXO family. The FOXO proteins participate in multiple signaling pathways, and their transcriptional activity is regulated by several post-translational mechanisms, including phosphorylation, acetylation and ubiquitination. Because these post-translational modification sites are located within the C-terminal basic region of the FOXO DNA-binding domain (FOXO-DBD), it is possible that these post-translational modifications could alter the DNA-binding characteristics. To understand how FOXO mediate transcriptional activity, we report here the 2.7 A crystal structure of the DNA-binding domain of FOXO3a (FOXO3a-DBD) bound to a 13-bp DNA duplex containing a FOXO consensus binding sequence (GTAAACA). Based on a unique structural feature in the C-terminal region and results from biochemical and mutational studies, our studies may explain how FOXO-DBD C-terminal phosphorylation by protein kinase B (PKB) or acetylation by cAMP-response element binding protein (CBP) can attenuate the DNA-binding activity and thereby reduce transcriptional activity of FOXO proteins. In addition, we demonstrate that the methyl groups of specific thymine bases within the consensus sequence are important for FOXO3a-DBD recognition of the consensus binding site.
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  8. (2006) Yamamura Y, Lee WL, Inoue K, Ida H, Ito Y. RUNX3 cooperates with FoxO3a to induce apoptosis in gastric cancer cells. J. Biol. Chem., 281(8):5267-76.
    The transcription factor RUNX3, which mediates apoptosis and cell growth inhibition in gastric epithelial cells, is a candidate tumor suppressor that is frequently lost in gastric cancer cells. Here, we found that restoration of RUNX3 expression in the cell line not expressing RUNX3 induced apoptosis and that it physically interacted with the Forkhead transcription factor FoxO3a/FKHRL1, known to be an important regulator of apoptosis and the cell cycle. Active unphosphorylated FoxO3a/FKHRL1 was expressed in the gastric cancer cell lines. RUNX3-induced apoptosis depended on the expression of Bim, a proapoptotic BH3-only protein, and both RUNX3 and FoxO3a/FKHRL1 were required for induction of Bim expression. Furthermore, we showed that interaction of RUNX3 and FoxO3a/FKHRL1 was also indispensable for Bim expression and apoptosis in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. In the Bim promoter, RUNX3 bound to two conserved RUNX-binding elements (RBE1 and RBE2), with RBE1 being immediately downstream of a FoxO-binding element. The physical interaction of RUNX3 and FoxO3a/FKHRL1 on the Bim promoter activated transcription of Bim. These findings show that RUNX3 cooperates with FoxO3a/FKHRL1 to participate in the induction of apoptosis by activating Bim and may play an important role in tumor suppression in gastric cancer.
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  9. (2005) Liu JW, Chandra D, Rudd MD, Butler AP, Pallotta V, Brown D, Coffer PJ, Tang DG. Induction of prosurvival molecules by apoptotic stimuli: involvement of FOXO3a and ROS. Oncogene, 24(12):2020-31.
    Most cancer therapeutics fails to eradicate cancer because cancer cells rapidly develop resistance to its proapoptotic effects. The underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here we show that three representative apoptotic stimuli, that is, serum starvation, a mitochondrial toxin, and a DNA-damaging agent (etoposide), rapidly induce several distinct classes of prosurvival molecules, in particular, Bcl-2/Bcl-X(L) and superoxide dismutase (SOD; including both MnSOD and Cu/ZnSOD). At the population level, the induction of these prosurvival molecules occurs prior to or concomitant with the induction of proapoptotic molecules such as Bim and Bak. Blocking the induction using siRNAs of the prosurvival or proapoptotic molecules facilitates or inhibits apoptosis, respectively. One master transcription factor, FOXO3a, is involved in the transcriptional activation of some of these prosurvival (e.g., MnSOD) and proapoptotic (e.g., Bim) molecules. Interestingly, in all three apoptotic systems, FOXO3a itself is also upregulated at the transcriptional level. Mechanistic studies indicate that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are rapidly induced upon apoptotic stimulation and that ROS inhibitors/scavengers block the induction of FOXO3a, MnSOD, and Bim. Finally, we show that apoptotic stimuli also upregulate prosurvival molecules in normal diploid human fibroblasts and at subapoptotic concentrations. Taken together, these results suggest that various apoptotic inducers may rapidly mobilize prosurvival mechanisms through ROS-activated master transcription factors such as FOXO3a. The results imply that effective anticancer therapeutics may need to combine both apoptosis-inducing and survival-suppressing strategies.
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  10. (2004) Essers MA, Weijzen S, de Vries-Smits AM, Saarloos I, de Ruiter ND, Bos JL, Burgering BM. FOXO transcription factor activation by oxidative stress mediated by the small GTPase Ral and JNK. EMBO J., 23(24):4802-12.
    Forkhead transcription factors of the FOXO class are negatively regulated by PKB/c-Akt in response to insulin/IGF signalling, and are involved in regulating cell cycle progression and cell death. Here we show that, in contrast to insulin signalling, low levels of oxidative stress generated by treatment with H2O2 induce the activation of FOXO4. Upon treatment of cells with H2O2, the small GTPase Ral is activated and this results in a JNK-dependent phosphorylation of FOXO4 on threonine 447 and threonine 451. This Ral-mediated, JNK-dependent phosphorylation is involved in the nuclear translocation and transcriptional activation of FOXO4 after H2O2 treatment. In addition, we show that this signalling pathway is also employed by tumor necrosis factor alpha to activate FOXO4 transcriptional activity. FOXO members have been implicated in cellular protection against oxidative stress via the transcriptional regulation of manganese superoxide dismutase and catalase gene expression. The results reported here, therefore, outline a homeostasis mechanism for sustaining cellular reactive oxygen species that is controlled by signalling pathways that can convey both negative (PI-3K/PKB) and positive (Ras/Ral) inputs.
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  11. (2003) Murphy CT, McCarroll SA, Bargmann CI, Fraser A, Kamath RS, Ahringer J, Li H, Kenyon C. Genes that act downstream of DAF-16 to influence the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature, 424(6946):277-83.
    Ageing is a fundamental, unsolved mystery in biology. DAF-16, a FOXO-family transcription factor, influences the rate of ageing of Caenorhabditis elegans in response to insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) signalling. Using DNA microarray analysis, we have found that DAF-16 affects expression of a set of genes during early adulthood, the time at which this pathway is known to control ageing. Here we find that many of these genes influence the ageing process. The insulin/IGF-I pathway functions cell non-autonomously to regulate lifespan, and our findings suggest that it signals other cells, at least in part, by feedback regulation of an insulin/IGF-I homologue. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the insulin/IGF-I pathway ultimately exerts its effect on lifespan by upregulating a wide variety of genes, including cellular stress-response, antimicrobial and metabolic genes, and by downregulating specific life-shortening genes.
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  12. (2001) Brunet A, Park J, Tran H, Hu LS, Hemmings BA, Greenberg ME. Protein kinase SGK mediates survival signals by phosphorylating the forkhead transcription factor FKHRL1 (FOXO3a). Mol. Cell. Biol., 21(3):952-65.
    Serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinases (SGKs) form a novel family of serine/threonine kinases that are activated in response to a variety of extracellular stimuli. SGKs are related to Akt (also called PKB), a serine/threonine kinase that plays a crucial role in promoting cell survival. Like Akt, SGKs are activated by the phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) and translocate to the nucleus upon growth factor stimulation. However the physiological substrates and cellular functions of SGKs remained to be identified. We hypothesized that SGKs regulate cellular functions in concert with Akt by phosphorylating common targets within the nucleus. The best-characterized nuclear substrates of Akt are transcription factors of the Forkhead family. Akt phosphorylates Forkhead transcription factors such as FKHRL1, leading to FKHRL1's exit from the nucleus and the consequent shutoff of FKHRL1 target genes. We show here that SGK1, like Akt, promotes cell survival and that it does so in part by phosphorylating and inactivating FKHRL1. However, SGK and Akt display differences with respect to the efficacy with which they phosphorylate the three regulatory sites on FKHRL1. While both kinases can phosphorylate Thr-32, SGK displays a marked preference for Ser-315 whereas Akt favors Ser-253. These findings suggest that SGK and Akt may coordinately regulate the function of FKHRL1 by phosphorylating this transcription factor at distinct sites. The efficient phosphorylation of these three sites on FKHRL1 by SGK and Akt appears to be critical to the ability of growth factors to suppress FKHRL1-dependent transcription, thereby preventing FKHRL1 from inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. These findings indicate that SGK acts in concert with Akt to propagate the effects of PI3K activation within the nucleus and to mediate the biological outputs of PI3K signaling, including cell survival and cell cycle progression.
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  13. (2000) Hall RK, Yamasaki T, Kucera T, Waltner-Law M, O'Brien R, Granner DK. Regulation of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 gene expression by insulin. The role of winged helix/forkhead proteins. J. Biol. Chem., 275(39):30169-75.
    Winged helix/forkhead (Fox) transcription factors have been implicated in the regulation of a number of insulin-responsive genes. The insulin response elements (IREs) of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) genes bind members of the FKHR and HNF3 subclasses of Fox proteins. Previous mutational analyses of the PEPCK and IGFBP-1 IREs revealed mutations which do not affect the binding of HNF3 proteins to these elements but do eliminate the ability of the IREs to mediate an insulin response. This dissociation of binding and function provided compelling evidence that HNF3 proteins, per se, are not insulin response proteins. The same approach was used here to determine if FKHRL1, a member of the FKHR subclass of Fox proteins, binds to the PEPCK and IGFBP-1 IREs in a manner that correlates with the ability of these elements to mediate an insulin response. Overexpression of FKHRL1 stimulates transcription from transfected reporter constructs that contain a multimerized PEPCK IRE or an IGFBP-1 IRE and this stimulation is repressed by insulin. There is a direct correlation between the ability of mutant versions of the PEPCK and IGFBP-1 IREs to bind FKHRL1 and their ability to mediate FKHRL1-induced transcription when FKHRL1 is overexpressed. However, under conditions where FKHRL1 is not overexpressed, there is a lack of correlation between FKHRL1 binding to mutant versions of the PEPCK and IGFBP-1 IREs and the ability of these elements to mediate an insulin response. Therefore, the PEPCK and IGFBP-1 IREs mediate FKHRL1-induced transcription and its inhibition by insulin when this protein is overexpressed, but at the normal cellular concentration of FKHRL1 the insulin response mediated by these elements must involve another protein.
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  14. (1999) Brunet A, Bonni A, Zigmond MJ, Lin MZ, Juo P, Hu LS, Anderson MJ, Arden KC, Blenis J, Greenberg ME. Akt promotes cell survival by phosphorylating and inhibiting a Forkhead transcription factor. Cell, 96(6):857-68.
    Survival factors can suppress apoptosis in a transcription-independent manner by activating the serine/ threonine kinase Akt, which then phosphorylates and inactivates components of the apoptotic machinery, including BAD and Caspase 9. In this study, we demonstrate that Akt also regulates the activity of FKHRL1, a member of the Forkhead family of transcription factors. In the presence of survival factors, Akt phosphorylates FKHRL1, leading to FKHRL1's association with 14-3-3 proteins and FKHRL1's retention in the cytoplasm. Survival factor withdrawal leads to FKHRL1 dephosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and target gene activation. Within the nucleus, FKHRL1 triggers apoptosis most likely by inducing the expression of genes that are critical for cell death, such as the Fas ligand gene.
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  15. (2009) Chen L, Qiu J, Yang C, Yang X, Chen X, Jiang J, Luo X. Identification of a novel estrogen receptor beta1 binding partner, inhibitor of differentiation-1, and role of ERbeta1 in human breast cancer cells. Cancer Lett., 278(2):210-9.
    Estrogen plays an important role in the proliferation and progression of breast cancer. The estrogen signal is mediated by the estrogen receptors (ERalpha and ERbeta). ERalpha (estrogen receptor alpha) is an important promoter of growth in breast cancer; however, the role of ERbeta (estrogen receptor beta) in breast cancer is less clear. In this study, using a yeast two-hybrid screening technique, we identified a novel ERbeta1-interacting protein, inhibitor of differentiation-1 (Id1), which is a dominant negative regulator of bHLH transcription factors, and promotes cell proliferation in breast cancer cells. Using mammalian two-hybrid protein-protein interaction assays, we found that the helix-loop-helix domain of the Id1 protein was essential for the physical interaction between ERbeta1 and Id1. In addition, we found that 17-beta estradiol inhibits ERbeta1 binding with Id1. Furthermore, we observed that ERbeta1 inhibited cell growth of MDA-MB-231 cells and upregulated p21 expression and that ERbeta1 up-regulation of p21 is Id1 dependent. Taken together, our study demonstrates a novel ERbeta1 binding partner, Id1, and a mechanism by which ERbeta1 inhibits breast cancer cell growth through binding with Id1 and upregulating p21 gene expression.
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  16. (2009) Bertoli C, Copetti T, Lam EW, Demarchi F, Schneider C. Calpain small-1 modulates Akt/FoxO3A signaling and apoptosis through PP2A. Oncogene, 28(5):721-33.
    Here, we show that FoxO3A transcription factor is upregulated upon calpain small-1 (CAPNS1) depletion both in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and in the human mammary carcinoma cell line MCF-7. On starvation, CAPNS1 depletion is associated with a higher rate of FoxO3A dephosphorylation and translocation to the nucleus and to a sharper increase in the levels of p27Kip1 and Bim, the products of two FoxO target genes. Notably, FoxO3A depletion in CAPNS1-/- MEFs reduces both the induction of Bim and apoptosis. Both okadaic acid treatment and silencing of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit can partially reduce starvation-induced FoxO3A activation and apoptosis in CAPNS1-/- fibroblasts. PP2A associates more tightly with Akt in CAPNS1 knockout cells, indicating that PP2A is involved in calpain-mediated FoxO regulation. Finally, we show that PP2A regulatory subunits B56 alpha and gamma are in vitro substrates of calpain, and calpain regulates B56 alpha stability in vivo, suggesting a direct role of calpain in the regulation of PP2A function. In conclusion, for the first time we report that CAPNS1 interferes with PP2A-Akt interaction consequently affecting FoxO3A-dependent cell death. Calpain inhibition might therefore be exploited as a tool to induce apoptosis in tumors sensitive to FoxO activation.
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  17.  review article 
    (2009) Maiese K, Chong ZZ, Shang YC, Hou J. A "FOXO" in sight: targeting Foxo proteins from conception to cancer. Med Res Rev, 29(3):395-418.
    The successful treatment for multiple disease entities can rest heavily upon the ability to elucidate the intricate relationships that govern cellular proliferation, metabolism, survival, and inflammation. Here we discuss the therapeutic potential of the mammalian forkhead transcription factors predominantly in the O class, FoxO1, FoxO3, FoxO4, and FoxO6, which play a significant role during normal cellular function as well as during progressive disease. These transcription factors are integrated with several signal transduction pathways, such as Wnt proteins, that can regulate a broad array of cellular process that include stem cell proliferation, aging, and malignancy. FoxO transcription factors are attractive considerations for strategies directed against human cancer in light of their pro-apoptotic effects and ability to lead to cell cycle arrest. Yet, FoxO proteins can be associated with infertility, cellular degeneration, and unchecked cellular proliferation. As our knowledge continues to develop for this novel family of proteins, potential clinical applications for the FoxO family should heighten our ability to limit disease progression without clinical compromise.
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  18. (2009) Ma Q, Fu W, Li P, Nicosia SV, Jenster G, Zhang X, Bai W. FoxO1 mediates PTEN suppression of androgen receptor N- and C-terminal interactions and coactivator recruitment. Mol. Endocrinol., 23(2):213-25.
    FoxO (mammalian forkhead subclass O) proteins are transcription factors acting downstream of the PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) tumor suppressor. Their activity is negatively regulated by AKT-mediated phosphorylation. Our previous studies showed that the transcriptional activity of the androgen receptor (AR) was inhibited by PTEN in an AKT-sensitive manner. Here, we report the repression of the activity of the full-length AR and its N-terminal domain by FoxO1 and the participation of FoxO1 in AR inhibition by PTEN. Ectopic expression of active FoxO1 decreased the transcriptional activity of AR as well as androgen-induced cell proliferation and production of prostate-specific antigen. FoxO1 knock down by RNA interference increased the transcriptional activity of the AR in PTEN-intact cells and relieved its inhibition by ectopic PTEN in PTEN-null cells. Mutational analysis revealed that FoxO1 fragment 150-655, which contains the forkhead box and C-terminal activation domain, was required for AR inhibition. Mammalian two-hybrid and glutathione-S-transferase pull-down assays demonstrated that the inhibition of AR activity by PTEN through FoxO1 involved the interference of androgen-induced interaction of the N- and C-termini of the AR and the recruitment of the p160 coactivators to its N terminus and to the androgen response elements of natural AR target genes. These studies reveal new mechanisms for the inhibition of AR activity by PTEN-FoxO axis and establish FoxO proteins as important nuclear factors that mediate the mutual antagonism between AR and PTEN tumor suppressor in prostate cancer cells.
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  19. (2009) Fei M, Zhao Y, Wang Y, Lu M, Cheng C, Huang X, Zhang D, Lu J, He S, Shen A. Low expression of Foxo3a is associated with poor prognosis in ovarian cancer patients. Cancer Invest., 27(1):52-9.
    To investigate whether Foxo3a expression is correlated with p27(kip1) protein levels as well as how it might be clinically relevant, we evaluated the expression of Foxo3a in several ovarian tumors. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed in 63 cases of ovarian tumors. Ten cases were evaluated by Western blot analysis. There was a correlation observed between Foxo3a over-expression and clinic pathological parameters (p = 0.032). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that Foxo3a low expression was significantly associated with poor prognosis of patients. It may be a useful prognostic marker and target in ovarian cancer.
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  20. (2008) Yang JY, Zong CS, Xia W, Yamaguchi H, Ding Q, Xie X, Lang JY, Lai CC, Chang CJ, Huang WC, Huang H, Kuo HP, Lee DF, Li LY, Lien HC, Cheng X, Chang KJ, Hsiao CD, Tsai FJ, Tsai CH, Sahin AA, Muller WJ, Mills GB, Yu D, Hortobagyi GN, Hung MC. ERK promotes tumorigenesis by inhibiting FOXO3a via MDM2-mediated degradation. Nat. Cell Biol., 10(2):138-48.
    The RAS-ERK pathway is known to play a pivotal role in differentiation, proliferation and tumour progression. Here, we show that Erk downregulates Forkhead box O 3a (FOXO3a) by directly interacting with and phosphorylating FOXO3a at Ser 294, Ser 344 and Ser 425, which consequently promotes cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. The ERK-phosphorylated FOXO3a degrades via an MDM2-mediated ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. However, the non-phosphorylated FOXO3a mutant is resistant to the interaction and degradation by murine double minute 2 (MDM2), thereby resulting in a strong inhibition of cell proliferation and tumorigenicity. Taken together, our study elucidates a novel pathway in cell growth and tumorigenesis through negative regulation of FOXO3a by RAS-ERK and MDM2.
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  21. (2008) Hui RC, Francis RE, Guest SK, Costa JR, Gomes AR, Myatt SS, Brosens JJ, Lam EW. Doxorubicin activates FOXO3a to induce the expression of multidrug resistance gene ABCB1 (MDR1) in K562 leukemic cells. Mol. Cancer Ther., 7(3):670-8.
    Using the doxorubicin-sensitive K562 cell line and the resistant derivative lines KD30 and KD225 as models, we found that acquisition of multidrug resistance (MDR) is associated with enhanced FOXO3a activity and expression of ABCB1 (MDR1), a plasma membrane P-glycoprotein that functions as an efflux pump for various anticancer agents. Furthermore, induction of ABCB1 mRNA expression on doxorubicin treatment of naive K562 cells was also accompanied by increased FOXO3a activity. Analysis of transfected K562, KD30, and KD225 cells in which FOXO3a activity can be induced by 4-hydroxytamoxifen showed that FOXO3a up-regulates ABCB1 expression at protein, mRNA, and gene promoter levels. Conversely, silencing of endogenous FOXO3a expression in KD225 cells inhibited the expression of this transport protein. Promoter analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that FOXO3a regulation of ABCB1 expression involves binding of this transcription factor to the proximal promoter region. Moreover, activation of FOXO3a increased ABCB1 drug efflux potential in KD30 cells, whereas silencing of FOXO3a by siRNA significantly reduced ABCB1 drug efflux ability. Together, these findings suggest a novel mechanism that can contribute towards MDR, involving FOXO3a as sensor for the cytotoxic stress induced by anticancer drugs. Although FOXO3a may initially trigger a program of cell cycle arrest and cell death in response to doxorubicin, sustained FOXO3a activation promotes drug resistance and survival of cells by activating ABCB1 expression.
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  22.  review article 
    (2008) Obsil T, Obsilova V. Structure/function relationships underlying regulation of FOXO transcription factors. Oncogene, 27(16):2263-75.
    The FOXO subgroup of forkhead transcription factors plays a central role in cell-cycle control, differentiation, metabolism control, stress response and apoptosis. Therefore, the function of these important molecules is tightly controlled by a wide range of protein-protein interactions and posttranslational modifications including phosphorylation, acetylation and ubiquitination. The mechanisms by which these processes regulate FOXO activity are mostly elusive. This review focuses on recent advances in structural studies of forkhead transcription factors and the insights they provide into the mechanism of DNA recognition. On the basis of these data, we discuss structural aspects of protein-protein interactions and posttranslational modifications that target the forkhead domain and the nuclear localization signal of FOXO proteins.
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  23. (2008) Wang F, Marshall CB, Yamamoto K, Li GY, Plevin MJ, You H, Mak TW, Ikura M. Biochemical and structural characterization of an intramolecular interaction in FOXO3a and its binding with p53. J. Mol. Biol., 384(3):590-603.
    FOXO3a, a forkhead transcription factor and member of the forkhead box class O (FOXO) subfamily, has been shown to promote the translocation of p53 to the cytoplasm, thereby inducing the mitochondria-associated apoptotic pathway. However, the binding sites that mediate this interaction between FOXO3a and p53 have not been identified. Here, we show that two regions within FOXO3a, the forkhead (FH) DNA binding domain and a conserved C-terminal transactivation domain (CR3), interact with the DNA binding domain of p53, with affinities in the low millimolar range and low micromolar range, respectively. Our data further suggest that within the FOXO3a molecule, the FH and CR3 domains engage in an intramolecular interaction with low micromolar affinity. Moreover, we used NMR to determine the solution structure of the FH domain. This enabled us to map the binding site for the CR3, which overlaps with the DNA binding site. We demonstrate that an intrinsically disordered linker between the FH and CR3 domains is required for full p53 binding activity. We also show that p53 disrupts the intramolecular interaction between FH and CR3. These results provide evidence for interplay of the FH and CR3 domains in association with p53.
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  24. (2008) Cornforth AN, Davis JS, Khanifar E, Nastiuk KL, Krolewski JJ. FOXO3a mediates the androgen-dependent regulation of FLIP and contributes to TRAIL-induced apoptosis of LNCaP cells. Oncogene, 27(32):4422-33.
    Androgen-withdrawal-induced apoptosis (AWIA) is deregulated in androgen refractory prostate cancer. Androgens have been shown to positively regulate expression of the antiapoptotic FADD-like interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme (FLICE)-like inhibitory protein (FLIP), and reduced FLIP expression precedes apoptosis after androgen withdrawal. Here, we show that FLIP protein expression is downregulated in castrated rats, while in LNCaP cells, androgens regulate FLIP in a manner that is dependent on phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt signaling. Specifically, treatment of LNCaP cells with LY294002, or expression of either PTEN or a non-phosphorylatable form of FOXO3a (FOXO3aTM), downregulates FLIP protein and mRNA. Conversely, treatment with androgens in the absence of PI3/Akt signaling, or following expression of FOXO3aTM, leads to increased FLIP expression. A FOXO3a binding site was identified in the FLIP promoter and shown necessary for the combined effects of androgens and FOXO3a on FLIP transcription. FOXO3a binds the androgen receptor, suggesting that the transcriptional synergy depends on an interaction between these proteins. Finally, LNCaP cells are sensitized to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by PTEN or LY294002, and rescued by androgens. FOXO3aTM also sensitizes cells to androgen-inhibited TRAIL apoptosis. Androgen rescue was diminished when either FOXO3a or FLIP was reduced by siRNA. These data support a role for FOXO3a in AWIA.
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  25.  review article 
    (2008) Arden KC. FOXO animal models reveal a variety of diverse roles for FOXO transcription factors. Oncogene, 27(16):2345-50.
    The Foxo subfamily of FOX transcription factors plays a variety of roles in a broad assortment of diverse physiological processes including cellular differentiation, tumor suppression, metabolism, cell cycle arrest, cell death and protection from stress. Animal models have proved to be invaluable tools in furthering our understanding of the role of particular genes in complex organismal processes. Multiple animal models in diverse species, including Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila. melanogaster and the laboratory mouse, exist for the Foxo family of transcription factors. Foxo genes are highly conserved throughout the evolution and each of these model systems has provided valuable insight into the roles of Foxo factors. Many roles are conserved among the different model organisms. Several Foxo-related animal model systems are reviewed here along with the knowledge gleaned to date from each model system.
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  26. (2008) Yamagata K, Daitoku H, Takahashi Y, Namiki K, Hisatake K, Kako K, Mukai H, Kasuya Y, Fukamizu A. Arginine methylation of FOXO transcription factors inhibits their phosphorylation by Akt. Mol. Cell, 32(2):221-31.
    Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors, the key regulators of cell survival, are negatively controlled through the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway. Phosphorylation of FOXO by Akt leads to cytoplasmic localization and subsequent degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Here we show a paradigm of FOXO1 regulation by the protein arginine methyltransferase PRMT1. PRMT1 methylated FOXO1 at conserved Arg248 and Arg250 within a consensus motif for Akt phosphorylation; this methylation directly blocked Akt-mediated phosphorylation of FOXO1 at Ser253 in vitro and in vivo. Silencing of PRMT1 by small interfering RNA enhanced nuclear exclusion, polyubiquitination, and proteasomal degradation of FOXO1. PRMT1 knockdown led to a decrease in oxidative-stress-induced apoptosis depending on the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway. Furthermore, stable expression of enzymatic inactive PRMT1 mutant increased resistance to apoptosis, whereas this effect was reversed by expression of phosphorylation-deficient FOXO1. Our findings predict a role for arginine methylation as an inhibitory modification against Akt-mediated phosphorylation.
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  27. (2008) Ward EC, Hoekstra AV, Blok LJ, Hanifi-Moghaddam P, Lurain JR, Singh DK, Buttin BM, Schink JC, Kim JJ. The regulation and function of the forkhead transcription factor, Forkhead box O1, is dependent on the progesterone receptor in endometrial carcinoma. Endocrinology, 149(4):1942-50.
    In many type I endometrial cancers, the PTEN gene is inactivated, which ultimately leads to constitutively active Akt and the inhibition of Forkhead box O1 (FOXO1), a member of the FOXO subfamily of Forkhead/winged helix family of transcription factors. The expression, regulation, and function of FOXO1 in endometrial cancer were investigated in this study. Immunohistochemical analysis of 49 endometrial tumor tissues revealed a decrease of FOXO1 expression in 95.9% of the cases compared with the expression in normal endometrium. In four different endometrial cancer cell lines (ECC1, Hec1B, Ishikawa, and RL95), FOXO1 mRNA was expressed at similar levels; however, protein levels were low or undetectable in Ecc1, Ishikawa, and RL95 cells. Using small interfering RNA technology, we demonstrated that the low levels of FOXO1 protein were due to the involvement of Skp2, an oncogenic subunit of the Skp1/Cul1/F-box protein ubiquitin complex, given that silencing Skp2 increased FOXO1 protein expression in Ishikawa cells. Inhibition of Akt in Ishikawa cells also increased nuclear FOXO1 protein levels. Additionally, progestins increased FOXO1 protein levels, specifically through progesterone receptor B (PRB) as determined by using stably transfected PRA-specific and PRB-specific Ishikawa cell lines. Finally, overexpression of triple mutant (Tm) FOXO1 in the PR-specific Ishikawa cell lines caused cell cycle arrest and significantly decreased proliferation in the presence and absence of the progestin, R5020. Furthermore, TmFOXO1 overexpression induced apoptosis in PRB-specific cells in the presence and absence of ligand. Taken together, these data provide insight into the phosphoinositide-3-kinase/Akt/FOXO pathway for the determination of progestin responsiveness and the development of alternate therapies for endometrial cancer.
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  28. (2008) Willcox BJ, Donlon TA, He Q, Chen R, Grove JS, Yano K, Masaki KH, Willcox DC, Rodriguez B, Curb JD. FOXO3A genotype is strongly associated with human longevity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 105(37):13987-92.
    Human longevity is a complex phenotype with a significant familial component, yet little is known about its genetic antecedents. Increasing evidence from animal models suggests that the insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway is an important, evolutionarily conserved biological pathway that influences aging and longevity. However, to date human data have been scarce. Studies have been hampered by small sample sizes, lack of precise phenotyping, and population stratification, among other challenges. Therefore, to more precisely assess potential genetic contributions to human longevity from genes linked to IIS signaling, we chose a large, homogeneous, long-lived population of men well-characterized for aging phenotypes, and we performed a nested-case control study of 5 candidate longevity genes. Genetic variation within the FOXO3A gene was strongly associated with human longevity. The OR for homozygous minor vs. homozygous major alleles between the cases and controls was 2.75 (P = 0.00009; adjusted P = 0.00135). Long-lived men also presented several additional phenotypes linked to healthy aging, including lower prevalence of cancer and cardiovascular disease, better self-reported health, and high physical and cognitive function, despite significantly older ages than controls. Several of these aging phenotypes were associated with FOXO3A genotype. Long-lived men also exhibited several biological markers indicative of greater insulin sensitivity and this was associated with homozygosity for the FOXO3A GG genotype. Further exploration of the FOXO3A gene, human longevity and other aging phenotypes is warranted in other populations.
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  29.  review article 
    (2008) Lu T, Finkel T. Free radicals and senescence. Exp. Cell Res., 314(9):1918-22.
    There is a significant body of experimental evidence that a rise in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributes to senescence. Here we review experiments where entry into senescence has been evaluated in cells whose intracellular ROS levels have been modulated by growth in either high or low ambient oxygen concentrations, or where the cellular antioxidant status has been perturbed. In addition, we discuss the observations that senescence triggered by oncogene expression also appears to be in part mediated by a rise in ROS levels. Finally, we discuss the emerging evidence that in vivo senescence might also be triggered by a rise in cellular oxidant levels. Although these data tend to support a role for ROS in mediating senescence, significant questions remain as to whether ROS act in a random or specific fashion and what precise oxidant species acts as the potential senescence trigger.
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  30.  review article 
    (2008) Jiang WJ. Sirtuins: novel targets for metabolic disease in drug development. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 373(3):341-4.
    Calorie restriction extends lifespan and produces a metabolic profile desirable for treating diseases such as type 2 diabetes. SIRT1, an NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase, is a principal modulator of pathways downstream of calorie restriction that produces beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. Activation of SIRT1 leads to enhanced activity of multiple proteins, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha) and FOXO which helps to mediate some of the in vitro and in vivo effects of sirtuins. Resveratrol, a polyphenolic SIRT1 activator, mimics the effects of calorie restriction in lower organisms and in mice fed a high-fat diet ameliorates insulin resistance. In this review, we summarize recent research advances in unveiling the molecular mechanisms that underpin sirtuin as therapeutic candidates and discuss the possibility of using resveratrol as potential drug for treatment of diabetes.
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  31. (2008) Hoogeboom D, Essers MA, Polderman PE, Voets E, Smits LM, Burgering BM. Interaction of FOXO with beta-catenin inhibits beta-catenin/T cell factor activity. J. Biol. Chem., 283(14):9224-30.
    Wingless (Wnt) signaling regulates many aspects of development and tissue homeostasis, and aberrant Wnt signaling can lead to cancer. Upon a Wnt signal beta-catenin degradation is halted and consequently the level of beta-catenin in the cytoplasm increases. This allows entry of beta-catenin into the nucleus where it can regulate gene transcription by direct binding to members of the lymphoid enhancer factor/T cell factor (TCF) family of transcription factors. Recently, we identified Forkhead box-O (FOXO) transcription factors as novel interaction partners of beta-catenin (Essers, M. A., de Vries-Smits, L. M., Barker, N., Polderman, P. E., Burgering, B. M., and Korswagen, H. C. (2005) Science 308, 1181-1184). Here we show that the beta-catenin binding to FOXO serves a dual effect. beta-catenin, through binding, enhances FOXO transcriptional activity. In addition, FOXO competes with TCF for interaction with beta-catenin, thereby inhibiting TCF transcriptional activity. Reduced binding between TCF and beta-catenin is observed after FOXO overexpression and cellular oxidative stress, which simultaneously increases binding between beta-catenin and FOXO. Furthermore, small interfering RNA-mediated knock down of FOXO reverts loss of beta-catenin binding to TCF after cellular oxidative stress. Taken together, these results provide evidence for a cross-talk mechanism between FOXO and TCF signaling in which beta-catenin plays a central regulatory role.
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  32.  review article 
    (2008) Maiese K, Chong ZZ, Shang YC. OutFOXOing disease and disability: the therapeutic potential of targeting FoxO proteins. , 14(5):219-27.
    Forkhead transcription factors have a 'winged helix' domain and regulate processes that range from cell longevity to cell death. Of the mammalian forkhead family members in the O class, FoxO1, FoxO3a and FoxO4 can fill a crucial void for the treatment of disorders that include aging, cancer, diabetes, infertility, neurodegeneration and immune system dysfunction. Yet, observations that forkhead family members also can compromise clinical utility have fueled controversy and highlight the necessity to further outline the integrated cellular pathways governed by these transcription factors. Here we discuss recent advances that have elucidated the unique cellular pathways and clinical potential of targeting FoxO proteins to develop novel therapeutic strategies and avert potential pitfalls that might be closely intertwined with its benefits for patient care.
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  33. (2008) Lee EJ, Kim JM, Lee MK, Jameson JL. Splice variants of the forkhead box protein AFX exhibit dominant negative activity and inhibit AFXalpha-mediated tumor cell apoptosis. PLoS ONE, 3(7):e2743.
    BACKGROUND: Loss-of-function in the apoptosis-inducing genes is known to facilitate tumorigenesis. AFX (FOXO4), a member of forkhead transcription factors functions as a tumor suppressor and has 2 isoforms, AFXalpha (505 a.a.) and AFXzeta (450 a.a.). In human cancer cells, we identified an N-terminally deleted form of AFXalpha (alpha198-505), translated from a downstream start and 2 short N-terminal AFX proteins (90, and 101 a.a.) produced by aberrant splicing. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We investigated the expression and role of these AFX variants. Cell transduction study revealed that short N-terminal AFX proteins were not stable. Though alpha(198-505) protein expression was detected in the cytoplasm and nucleus, alpha(198-505) expressing cells did not show a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling mediated by PI3 kinase signaling. Whereas, we observed this shuttling in cells expressing either AFXalpha or AFXzeta protein. AFXzeta and alpha(198-505) lost the ability to transactivate BCL6 or suppress cyclin D2 gene expression. These variants did not induce cancer cell death whereas AFXalpha resulted in apoptosis. We found that AFXzeta and alpha(198-505) suppress the AFXalpha stimulation of BCL6 promoter in a dose dependent manner, indicating dominant negative activity. These variants also inhibited AFXalpha induction of apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS: Loss of function by aberrant splicing and the dominant negative activity of AFX variants may provide a mechanism for enhanced survival of neoplastic cells.
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  34.  review article 
    (2008) Ho KK, Myatt SS, Lam EW. Many forks in the path: cycling with FoxO. Oncogene, 27(16):2300-11.
    FoxO transcription factors are an evolutionary conserved subfamily of the forkhead transcription factors, characterized by the forkhead DNA-binding domain. FoxO factors regulate a number of cellular processes involved in cell-fate decisions in a cell-type- and environment-specific manner, including metabolism, differentiation, apoptosis and proliferation. A key mechanism by which FoxO determines cell fate is through regulation of the cell cycle machinery, and as such the cellular consequence of FoxO deregulation is often manifested through perturbation of the cell cycle. Consequently, the deregulation of FoxO factors is implicated in the development of numerous proliferative diseases, in particular cancer.
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  35. (2007) Rinner O, Mueller LN, Hubálek M, Müller M, Gstaiger M, Aebersold R. An integrated mass spectrometric and computational framework for the analysis of protein interaction networks. Nat. Biotechnol., 25(3):345-52.
    Biological systems are controlled by protein complexes that associate into dynamic protein interaction networks. We describe a strategy that analyzes protein complexes through the integration of label-free, quantitative mass spectrometry and computational analysis. By evaluating peptide intensity profiles throughout the sequential dilution of samples, the MasterMap system identifies specific interaction partners, detects changes in the composition of protein complexes and reveals variations in the phosphorylation states of components of protein complexes. We use the complexes containing the human forkhead transcription factor FoxO3A to demonstrate the validity and performance of this technology. Our analysis identifies previously known and unknown interactions of FoxO3A with 14-3-3 proteins, in addition to identifying FoxO3A phosphorylation sites and detecting reduced 14-3-3 binding following inhibition of phosphoinositide-3 kinase. By improving specificity and sensitivity of interaction networks, assessing post-translational modifications and providing dynamic interaction profiles, the MasterMap system addresses several limitations of current approaches for protein complexes.
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  36. (2007) Bakker WJ, van Dijk TB, Parren-van Amelsvoort M, Kolbus A, Yamamoto K, Steinlein P, Verhaak RG, Mak TW, Beug H, Löwenberg B, von Lindern M. Differential regulation of Foxo3a target genes in erythropoiesis. Mol. Cell. Biol., 27(10):3839-3854.
    The cooperation of stem cell factor (SCF) and erythropoietin (Epo) is required to induce renewal divisions in erythroid progenitors, whereas differentiation to mature erythrocytes requires the presence of Epo only. Epo and SCF activate common signaling pathways such as the activation of protein kinase B (PKB) and the subsequent phosphorylation and inactivation of Foxo3a. In contrast, only Epo activates Stat5. Both Foxo3a and Stat5 promote erythroid differentiation. To understand the interplay of SCF and Epo in maintaining the balance between renewal and differentiation during erythroid development, we investigated differential Foxo3a target regulation by Epo and SCF. Expression profiling revealed that a subset of Foxo3a targets was not inhibited but was activated by Epo. One of these genes was Cited2. Transcriptional control of Epo/Foxo3a-induced Cited2 was studied and compared with that of the Epo-repressed Foxo3a target Btg1. We show that in response to Epo, the allegedly growth-inhibitory factor Foxo3a associates with the allegedly growth-stimulatory factor Stat5 in the nucleus, which is required for Epo-induced Cited2 expression. In contrast, Btg1 expression is controlled by the cooperation of Foxo3a with cyclic AMP- and Jun kinase-dependent Creb family members. Thus, Foxo3a not only is an effector of PKB but also integrates distinct signals to regulate gene expression in erythropoiesis.
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  37. (2007) Bakker WJ, Harris IS, Mak TW. FOXO3a is activated in response to hypoxic stress and inhibits HIF1-induced apoptosis via regulation of CITED2. Mol. Cell, 28(6):941-53.
    FOXO transcription factors are important regulators of cell survival in response to a variety of stress stimuli, among which are oxidative stress, DNA damage, and nutrient deprivation. Here we report a role for FOXO3a under conditions of hypoxic stress. In response to hypoxia, FOXO3a transcript levels accumulate in an HIF1-dependent way, resulting in enhanced FOXO3a activity. We show that transcription of CITED2, a transcriptional cofactor that functions in a negative feedback loop to control HIF1 activity, is induced by FOXO3a during hypoxia. In fibroblasts as well as in breast cancer cells, FOXO3a inhibits HIF1-induced apoptosis by stimulating the transcription of CITED2, which results in reduced expression of the proapoptotic HIF1 target genes NIX and RTP801. Thus, by fine-tuning HIF1 activity, FOXO3a plays an important role in the survival response of normal and cancer cells in response to hypoxic stress.
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  38. (2007) Birkenkamp KU, Essafi A, van der Vos KE, da Costa M, Hui RC, Holstege F, Koenderman L, Lam EW, Coffer PJ. FOXO3a induces differentiation of Bcr-Abl-transformed cells through transcriptional down-regulation of Id1. J. Biol. Chem., 282(4):2211-20.
    Leukemic transformation often requires activation of protein kinase B (PKB/c-Akt) and is characterized by increased proliferation, decreased apoptosis, and a differentiation block. PKB phosphorylates and inactivates members of the FOXO subfamily of Forkhead transcription factors. It has been suggested that hyperactivation of PKB maintains the leukemic phenotype through actively repressing FOXO-mediated regulation of specific genes. We have found expression of the transcriptional repressor Id1 (inhibitor of DNA binding 1) to be abrogated by FOXO3a activation. Inhibition of PKB activation or growth factor deprivation also resulted in strong down-regulation of Id1 promoter activity, Id1 mRNA, and protein expression. Id1 is highly expressed in Bcr-Abl-transformed K562 cells, correlating with high PKB activation and FOXO3a phosphorylation. Inhibition of Bcr-Abl by the chemical inhibitor STI571 resulted in activation of FOXO3a and down-regulation of Id1 expression. By performing chromatin immunoprecipitation assays and promoter-mutation analysis, we demonstrate that FOXO3a acts as a transcriptional repressor by directly binding to the Id1 promoter. STI571 treatment, or expression of constitutively active FOXO3a, resulted in erythroid differentiation of K562 cells, which was inhibited by ectopic expression of Id1. Taken together our data strongly suggest that high expression of Id1, through PKB-mediated inhibition of FOXO3a, is critical for maintenance of the leukemic phenotype.
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  39. (2007) Almeida M, Han L, Martin-Millan M, O'Brien CA, Manolagas SC. Oxidative stress antagonizes Wnt signaling in osteoblast precursors by diverting beta-catenin from T cell factor- to forkhead box O-mediated transcription. J. Biol. Chem., 282(37):27298-305.
    We have elucidated that oxidative stress is a pivotal pathogenetic factor of age-related bone loss and strength in mice, leading to, among other changes, a decrease in osteoblast number and bone formation. To gain insight into the molecular mechanism by which oxidative stress exerts such adverse effects, we have tested the hypothesis that induction of the Forkhead box O (FoxO) transcription factors by reactive oxygen species may antagonize Wnt signaling, an essential stimulus for osteoblastogenesis. In support of this hypothesis, we report herein that the expression of FoxO target genes increases, whereas the expression of Wnt target genes decreases, with increasing age in C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, we show that in osteoblastic cell models, oxidative stress (exemplified by H(2)O(2)) promotes the association of FoxOs with beta-catenin, beta-catenin is required for the stimulation of FoxO target genes by H(2)O(2), and H(2)O(2) promotes FoxO-mediated transcription at the expense of Wnt-/T-cell factor-mediated transcription and osteoblast differentiation. Furthermore, beta-catenin overexpression is sufficient to prevent FoxO-mediated suppression of T-cell factor transcription. These results demonstrate that diversion of the limited pool of beta-catenin from T-cell factor- to FoxO-mediated transcription in osteoblastic cells may account, at least in part, for the attenuation of osteoblastogenesis and bone formation by the age-dependent increase in oxidative stress.
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  40. (2007) Delpuech O, Griffiths B, East P, Essafi A, Lam EW, Burgering B, Downward J, Schulze A. Induction of Mxi1-SR alpha by FOXO3a contributes to repression of Myc-dependent gene expression. Mol. Cell. Biol., 27(13):4917-30.
    Forkhead transcription factors of the O class (FOXOs) are important targets of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase)/Akt pathway. FOXOs have been implicated in the regulation of cell cycle progression, oxidative stress resistance, and apoptosis. Using DNA microarrays, we analyzed the transcriptional response to FOXO3a activation by gene expression analysis in DLD-1 colon cancer cells stably expressing a FOXO3a.A3-ER fusion protein. We found that activation of FOXO3a resulted in repression of a number of previously identified Myc target genes. Furthermore, FOXO3a activation induced expression of several members of the Mad/Mxd family of transcriptional repressors, most notably Mxi1. The induction of Mxi1 by FOXO3a was specific to the Mxi1-SR alpha isoform and was mediated by three highly conserved FOXO binding sites within the first intron of the gene. Activation of FOXO3a in response to inhibition of Akt also resulted in activation of Mxi1-SR alpha expression. Silencing of Mxi1 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) reduced FOXO3a-mediated repression of a number of Myc target genes. We also observed that FOXO3a activation induced a switch in promoter occupancy from Myc to Mxi1 on the E-box containing promoter regions of two Myc target genes, APEX and FOXM1. siRNA-mediated transient silencing of Mxi1 or all Mad/Mxd proteins reduced exit from S phase in response to FOXO3a activation, and stable silencing of Mxi1 or Mad1 reduced the growth inhibitory effect of FOXO3a. We conclude that induction of Mad/Mxd proteins contributes to the inhibition of proliferation in response to FOXO3a activation. Our results provide evidence of direct regulation of Mxi1 by FOXO3a and imply an additional mechanism through which the PI3-kinase/Akt/FOXO pathway can modulate Myc function.
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  41.  review article 
    (2007) Huang H, Tindall DJ. Dynamic FoxO transcription factors. J. Cell. Sci., 120(Pt 15):2479-87.
    Forkhead box O (FoxO) transcription factors FoxO1, FoxO3a, FoxO4 and FoxO6, the mammalian orthologs of Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-16, are emerging as an important family of proteins that modulate the expression of genes involved in apoptosis, the cell cycle, DNA damage repair, oxidative stress, cell differentiation, glucose metabolism and other cellular functions. FoxO proteins are regulated by multiple mechanisms. They undergo inhibitory phosphorylation by protein kinases such as Akt, SGK, IKK and CDK2 in response to external and internal stimuli. By contrast, they are activated by upstream regulators such as JNK and MST1 under stress conditions. Their activities are counterbalanced by the acetylases CBP and p300 and the deacetylase SIRT1. Also, whereas polyubiquitylation of FoxO1 and FoxO3a leads to their degradation by the proteasome, monoubiquitylation of FoxO4 facilitates its nuclear localization and augments its transcriptional activity. Thus, the potent functions of FoxO proteins are tightly controlled by complex signaling pathways under physiological conditions; dysregulation of these proteins may ultimately lead to disease such as cancer.
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  42. (2006) Lehtinen MK, Yuan Z, Boag PR, Yang Y, Villén J, Becker EB, DiBacco S, de la Iglesia N, Gygi S, Blackwell TK, Bonni A. A conserved MST-FOXO signaling pathway mediates oxidative-stress responses and extends life span. Cell, 125(5):987-1001.
    Oxidative stress influences cell survival and homeostasis, but the mechanisms underlying the biological effects of oxidative stress remain to be elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that the protein kinase MST1 mediates oxidative-stress-induced cell death in primary mammalian neurons by directly activating the FOXO transcription factors. MST1 phosphorylates FOXO proteins at a conserved site within the forkhead domain that disrupts their interaction with 14-3-3 proteins, promotes FOXO nuclear translocation, and thereby induces cell death in neurons. We also extend the MST-FOXO signaling link to nematodes. Knockdown of the C. elegans MST1 ortholog CST-1 shortens life span and accelerates tissue aging, while overexpression of cst-1 promotes life span and delays aging. The cst-1-induced life-span extension occurs in a daf-16-dependent manner. The identification of the FOXO transcription factors as major and evolutionarily conserved targets of MST1 suggests that MST kinases play important roles in diverse biological processes including cellular responses to oxidative stress and longevity.
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  43. (2006) You H, Yamamoto K, Mak TW. Regulation of transactivation-independent proapoptotic activity of p53 by FOXO3a. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 103(24):9051-6.
    The tumor suppressor p53 can trigger cell death independently of its transcriptional activity through subcellular translocation and activation of proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members. The regulation of such activity of endogenous p53 in response to stress remains largely unknown. Here we show that nuclear, activated FOXO3a could impair p53 transcriptional activity. However, activation of FOXO3a either on serum starvation or by expressing a constitutively active form of FOXO3a could induce p53-dependent apoptosis, even in cells bearing a transcriptionally inactive form of p53. Furthermore, FOXO3a could promote p53 cytoplasmic accumulation by increasing its association with nuclear exporting machinery. Our data also suggest that PUMA and Bax are required for p53-dependent apoptosis in manner that is independent of p53 transcriptional activity.
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  44. (2006) Thierry-Mieg D, Thierry-Mieg J. AceView: a comprehensive cDNA-supported gene and transcripts annotation. Genome Biol., 7 Suppl 1:S12.1-14.
    BACKGROUND: Regions covering one percent of the genome, selected by ENCODE for extensive analysis, were annotated by the HAVANA/Gencode group with high quality transcripts, thus defining a benchmark. The ENCODE Genome Annotation Assessment Project (EGASP) competition aimed at reproducing Gencode and finding new genes. The organizers evaluated the protein predictions in depth. We present a complementary analysis of the mRNAs, including alternative transcript variants. RESULTS: We evaluate 25 gene tracks from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) genome browser. We either distinguish or collapse the alternative splice variants, and compare the genomic coordinates of exons, introns and nucleotides. Whole mRNA models, seen as chains of introns, are sorted to find the best matching pairs, and compared so that each mRNA is used only once. At the mRNA level, AceView is by far the closest to Gencode: the vast majority of transcripts of the two methods, including alternative variants, are identical. At the protein level, however, due to a lack of experimental data, our predictions differ: Gencode annotates proteins in only 41% of the mRNAs whereas AceView does so in virtually all. We describe the driving principles of AceView, and how, by performing hand-supervised automatic annotation, we solve the combinatorial splicing problem and summarize all of GenBank, dbEST and RefSeq into a genome-wide non-redundant but comprehensive cDNA-supported transcriptome. AceView accuracy is now validated by Gencode. CONCLUSION: Relative to a consensus mRNA catalog constructed from all evidence-based annotations, Gencode and AceView have 81% and 84% sensitivity, and 74% and 73% specificity, respectively. This close agreement validates a richer view of the human transcriptome, with three to five times more transcripts than in UCSC Known Genes (sensitivity 28%), RefSeq (sensitivity 21%) or Ensembl (sensitivity 19%).
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  45.  review article 
    (2006) Arden KC. Multiple roles of FOXO transcription factors in mammalian cells point to multiple roles in cancer. Exp. Gerontol., 41(8):709-17.
    The FOXO family of transcription factors has been implicated in several cellular processes including cell cycle arrest, cell death and protection from stress stimuli. FOXO function is influenced by multiple signaling pathways. Many of these pathways are known to be misregulated in cancer. Perturbation of FOXO function leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation and accumulation of DNA damage. It is becoming clear that active FOXO proteins play an important role in keeping cells in check and inactivation of FOXO proteins is associated with characteristics of cancer cells. FOXO proteins may represent new therapeutic targets for a broad spectrum of cancers.
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  46. (2006) Watkins WJ, Umbers AJ, Woad KJ, Harris SE, Winship IM, Gersak K, Shelling AN. Mutational screening of FOXO3A and FOXO1A in women with premature ovarian failure. Fertil. Steril., 86(5):1518-21.
    FOXO3A and FOXO1A are excellent candidate genes for the development of premature ovarian failure and have not been analyzed previously in POF patients. Potentially causal mutations in FOXO3A (2/90; 2.2%) and FOXO1A (1/90; 1.1%) were identified in POF patients; however, the pathological role of these mutations will be determined only by screening increased numbers of patients and controls, or by functional studies.
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  47. (2006) Kim JR, Jung HS, Bae SW, Kim JH, Park BL, Choi YH, Cho HY, Cheong HS, Shin HD. Polymorphisms in FOXO gene family and association analysis with BMI. Obesity (Silver Spring), 14(2):188-93.
    Forkhead transcription factors of the FOXO subfamily are emerging as shared components of pathways that regulate a variety of cellular functions. In an effort to identify genetic polymorphisms in candidate genes to determine associations with BMI, we sequenced all exons of the FOXO genes (FOXO1a, FOXO3a, and FOXO4) and examined their associations with BMI in a Korean population (n = 734). Sixteen polymorphisms were identified in FOXO genes: three in FOXO1a, seven in FOXO3a, and six in FOXO4. Associations of FOXO polymorphisms with BMI were analyzed using multiple regression, adjusting for age and sex as covariates. One promoter single nucleotide polymorphism in the 5' flanking region of FOXO3a showed significant association with BMI, e.g., the lowest BMI (23.3 +/- 2.69 kg/m2) was discovered in individuals who were carrying T/T, intermediate BMI (26.6 +/- 3.14 kg/m2) was found in heterozygous individuals (C/T), and the highest BMI (27.2 +/- 3.47 kg/m2) occurred in individuals who were homozygous for the major allele (C/C; p = 0.01).
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  48. (2006) Madureira PA, Varshochi R, Constantinidou D, Francis RE, Coombes RC, Yao KM, Lam EW. The Forkhead box M1 protein regulates the transcription of the estrogen receptor alpha in breast cancer cells. J. Biol. Chem., 281(35):25167-76.
    In this study, we have identified the Forkhead transcription factor FoxM1 as a physiological regulator of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) expression in breast carcinoma cells. Our survey of a panel of 16 different breast cell lines showed a good correlation (13/16) between FoxM1 expression and expression of ERalpha at both protein and mRNA levels. We have also demonstrated that ectopic expression of FoxM1 in two different estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and ZR-75-30, led to up-regulation of ERalpha expression at protein and transcript levels. Furthermore, treatment of MCF-7 cells with the MEK inhibitor U0126, which blocks ERK1/2-dependent activation of FoxM1, also repressed ERalpha expression. Consistent with this, silencing of FoxM1 expression in MCF-7 cells using small interfering RNA resulted in the almost complete abrogation of ERalpha expression. We also went on to show that FoxM1 can activate the transcriptional activity of human ERalpha promoter primarily through two closely located Forkhead response elements located at the proximal region of the ERalpha promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and biotinylated oligonucleotide pulldown assays have allowed us to confirm these Forkhead response elements as important for FoxM1 binding. Further co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that FoxO3a and FoxM1 interact in vivo. Together with the chromatin immunoprecipitation and biotinylated oligonucleotide pulldown data, the co-immunoprecipitation results also suggest the possibility that FoxM1 and FoxO3a cooperate to regulate ERalpha gene transcription.
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  49. (2006) You H, Pellegrini M, Tsuchihara K, Yamamoto K, Hacker G, Erlacher M, Villunger A, Mak TW. FOXO3a-dependent regulation of Puma in response to cytokine/growth factor withdrawal. J. Exp. Med., 203(7):1657-63.
    Puma is an essential mediator of p53-dependent and -independent apoptosis in vivo. In response to genotoxic stress, Puma is induced in a p53-dependent manner. However, the transcription factor driving Puma up-regulation in response to p53-independent apoptotic stimuli has yet to be identified. Here, we show that FOXO3a up-regulates Puma expression in response to cytokine or growth factor deprivation. Importantly, dysregulated Akt signaling in lymphoid cells attenuated Puma induction upon cytokine withdrawal. Our results suggest that Puma, together with another BH3 only member, Bim, function as FOXO3a downstream targets to mediate a stress response when PI3K/Akt signaling is down-regulated.
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  50. (2006) Hoekman MF, Jacobs FM, Smidt MP, Burbach JP. Spatial and temporal expression of FoxO transcription factors in the developing and adult murine brain. Gene Expr. Patterns, 6(2):134-40.
    In order to obtain leads to molecular mechanisms of signal transduction pathways and controlled gene expression in neuronal development we have screened the adult mouse brain for expressed forkhead transcription factors using a degenerate RT-PCR approach. Here, we focus on three FoxO genes found to be expressed in the brain: FoxO1, FoxO3 and FoxO6. The FoxO subfamily of forkhead transcription family is emerging as a central keypoint in an array of cellular functions, such as metabolism, differentiation and transformation. In situ hybridization experiments on adult and embryonic mouse brain showed differential expression patterns for three FoxO members. FoxO1 was strongly expressed in the striatum and neuronal subsets of the hippocampus (dentate gyrus and the ventral/posterior part of the CA regions), whereas FoxO3 was more diffusely expressed throughout the brain including all hippocampal areas, cortex and cerebellum. FoxO6 expression was eminent in various parts of the adult mouse brain, including the entire hippocampus, the amygdalohippocampal area and the shell of the nucleus accumbens. Remarkably, all three FoxO transcription factors were expressed relatively late in the developing murine brain, starting between E12.5 and E14. In summary, the presented data show FoxO factors to be expressed in the adult and developing mouse brain, in a spatially end temporally restricted manner.
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  51. (2006) Onuma H, Vander Kooi BT, Boustead JN, Oeser JK, O'Brien RM. Correlation between FOXO1a (FKHR) and FOXO3a (FKHRL1) binding and the inhibition of basal glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit gene transcription by insulin. Mol. Endocrinol., 20(11):2831-47.
    Insulin inhibits transcription of the genes encoding the glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit (G6Pase), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, and IGF binding protein-1 through insulin response sequences (IRSs) that share the same core sequence, T(G/A)TTTT(G/T). The transcription factors FOXO1a and FOXO3a have been shown to bind these elements, but there are conflicting reports as to whether this binding correlates with the action of insulin on gene transcription. Some researchers concluded, from overexpression experiments using FOXO1a, that binding correlated with the insulin response, whereas others concluded, mainly from gel retardation competition experiments using FOXO3a, that it did not. We show here that, although these factors can differentially activate gene transcription in a context-dependent manner, these conflicting data are not explained by a difference in FOXO1a and FOXO3a binding specificity. Instead, we find that gel retardation competition and binding experiments give different results; the latter reveal a correlation between FOXO1a/3a binding and the inhibition of basal G6Pase gene transcription by insulin. In addition, these data show that the binding of FOXO1a/3a to two adjacent IRSs in the G6Pase promoter is cooperative and that promoter context alters the specific IRS base requirements for FOXO1a-stimulated fusion gene expression. Surprisingly, an analysis of insulin action mediated through the G6Pase and IGF binding protein-1 IRSs in the context of a heterologous thymidine kinase promoter reveals that signaling through the latter does not support the accepted model for insulin-stimulated FOXO nuclear exclusion.
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  52. (2005) Essafi A, Fernández de Mattos S, Hassen YA, Soeiro I, Mufti GJ, Thomas NS, Medema RH, Lam EW. Direct transcriptional regulation of Bim by FoxO3a mediates STI571-induced apoptosis in Bcr-Abl-expressing cells. Oncogene, 24(14):2317-29.
    In this study, we have used the human BV173 and the mouse BaF3/Bcr-Abl-expressing cell lines as model systems to investigate the molecular mechanisms whereby STI571 and FoxO3a regulate Bim expression and apoptosis. FoxO3a lies downstream of Bcr-Abl signalling and is constitutively phosphorylated in the Bcr-Abl-positive BV173 and BaF3/Bcr-Abl cells. Inhibition of Bcr-Abl kinase by STI571 results in FoxO3a activation, induction of Bim expression and apoptosis. Using reporter gene assays, we demonstrate that STI571 and FoxO3a activate Bim transcription through a FoxO-binding site (FHRE) located within the promoter. This was verified by DNA pull-down and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses. We find that conditional activation of FoxO3a leads to induction of Bim expression and apoptosis. Conversely, silencing of FoxO3a in Bcr-Abl-expressing cells abolishes STI571-mediated Bim induction and apoptosis. Together, the results presented clearly confirm FoxO3a as a key regulator of apoptosis induced by STI571, and show that Bim is a direct transcriptional target of FoxO3a that mediates the STI571-induced apoptosis. Thus, STI571 induces an accumulation of FoxO3a activity which in turn binds directly to an FHRE in the promoter to activate Bim expression and apoptosis.
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  53.  review article 
    (2005) Vogt PK, Jiang H, Aoki M. Triple layer control: phosphorylation, acetylation and ubiquitination of FOXO proteins. Cell Cycle, 4(7):908-13.
    FOXO proteins are transcriptional regulators that control cell cycle progression, DNA repair, defense against oxidative damage and apoptosis. These divergent functions of FOXO proteins are regulated by signal-induced, post-translational modifications. Phosphorylation of cytoplasmic FOXO at specific sites by JNK initiates translocation into the nucleus. Acetylation and deacetylation of nuclear FOXO affects the selection of transcriptional programs that are controlled by FOXO proteins. Activation of Akt by growth factors results in phosphorylation of nuclear FOXO at specific sites followed by additional phosphorylations mediated by other kinases. Akt-dependent phosphorylation reduces the DNA-binding activity of FOXO, interferes with binding to the co-activators p300/CBP, and inactivates the FOXO nuclear translocation signal. The Akt-phosphorylated FOXO is exported from the nucleus in a CRM1- and 14-3-3-dependent process. Cytoplasmic, Akt-phosphorylated FOXO interacts with the ubiquitin ligase Skp2 and is targeted for proteasomal degradation. The nuclear-cytoplasmic "FOXO shuttle" is driven by stress signals that result in nuclear import and FOXO transcriptional activity and growth signals that initiate nuclear export and proteasomal degradation of FOXO.
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  54.  review article 
    (2005) van der Heide LP, Smidt MP. Regulation of FoxO activity by CBP/p300-mediated acetylation. Trends Biochem. Sci., 30(2):81-6.
    Forkhead box, class O (FoxO) transcription factors are inhibited by insulin-induced FoxO phosphorylation. Recently, acetylation of FoxO factors by calcium response element-binding (CREB)-binding protein (CBP) and/or p300 has been identified as a novel regulatory pathway, although the exact consequences of acetylation remain unclear. We propose that binding of CBP/p300 to FoxO factors is essential for FoxO-mediated transcription. CBP and p300 act as FoxO cofactors by weakening histone-DNA interactions. Acetylation of FoxO factors, however, attenuates FoxO-mediated transcriptional activity by disrupting the interaction between FoxO factors and target DNA. Therefore, acetylation shifts the function of FoxO from cell-cycle arrest and protection against oxidative stress towards cell death.
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  55. (2004) Bakker WJ, Blázquez-Domingo M, Kolbus A, Besooyen J, Steinlein P, Beug H, Coffer PJ, Löwenberg B, von Lindern M, van Dijk TB. FoxO3a regulates erythroid differentiation and induces BTG1, an activator of protein arginine methyl transferase 1. J. Cell Biol., 164(2):175-84.
    Erythropoiesis requires tight control of expansion, maturation, and survival of erythroid progenitors. Because activation of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) is required for erythropoietin/stem cell factor-induced expansion of erythroid progenitors, we examined the role of the PI3K-controlled Forkhead box, class O (FoxO) subfamily of Forkhead transcription factors. FoxO3a expression and nuclear accumulation increased during erythroid differentiation, whereas untimely induction of FoxO3a activity accelerated differentiation of erythroid progenitors to erythrocytes. We identified B cell translocation gene 1 (BTG1)/antiproliferative protein 2 as a FoxO3a target gene in erythroid progenitors. Promoter studies indicated BTG1 as a direct target of FoxO3a. Expression of BTG1 in primary mouse bone marrow cells blocked the outgrowth of erythroid colonies, which required a domain of BTG1 that binds protein arginine methyl transferase 1. During erythroid differentiation, increased arginine methylation coincided with BTG1 expression. Concordantly, inhibition of methyl transferase activity blocked erythroid maturation without affecting expansion of progenitor cells. We propose FoxO3a-controlled expression of BTG1 and subsequent regulation of protein arginine methyl transferase activity as a novel mechanism controlling erythroid expansion and differentiation.
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  56. (2004) Lin L, Hron JD, Peng SL. Regulation of NF-kappaB, Th activation, and autoinflammation by the forkhead transcription factor Foxo3a. Immunity, 21(2):203-13.
    Forkhead (Fox) transcription factors play key roles in immunoregulation. Members of the Foxo subfamily have been implicated in the regulation of the cell cycle and/or apoptosis, but their specific immunological contexts remain largely undefined. We demonstrate here that Foxo3a, the predominant Foxo member expressed in peripheral lymphoid organs, plays a critical role in lymphoid homeostasis. Foxo3a deficiency leads to spontaneous lymphoproliferation, associated with inflammation of several organs, in the absence of overt apoptotic defects. These findings correlated with the presence of hyperactivated helper T cells, which proliferated more vigorously and produced more Th1 and Th2 cytokines than their wild-type counterparts. Foxo3a inhibits NF-kappaB activation, whose overactivity was responsible for T cell hyperactivity in Foxo3a-deficient mice. Thus, Foxo3a regulates helper T cell activation and tolerance by inhibiting NF-kappaB activity, reinforcing a generalized role for the forkhead proteins in the maintenance of T cell tolerance through the inhibition of inflammatory transcriptional activities.
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  57. (2004) Hosaka T, Biggs WH, Tieu D, Boyer AD, Varki NM, Cavenee WK, Arden KC. Disruption of forkhead transcription factor (FOXO) family members in mice reveals their functional diversification. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 101(9):2975-80.
    Genetic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans has uncovered essential roles for DAF-16 in longevity, metabolism, and reproduction. The mammalian orthologs of DAF-16, the closely-related FOXO subclass of forkhead transcription factors (FKHR/FOXO1, FKHRL1/FOXO3a, and AFX/FOXO4), also have important roles in cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and stress responses in vitro, but their in vivo physiological roles are largely unknown. To elucidate their role in normal development and physiology, we disrupted each of the Foxo genes in mice. Foxo1-null embryos died on embryonic day 10.5 as a consequence of incomplete vascular development. Foxo1-null embryonic and yolk sac vessels were not well developed at embryonic day 9.5, and Foxo1 expression was found in a variety of embryonic vessels, suggesting a crucial role of this transcription factor in vascular formation. On the other hand, both Foxo3a- and Foxo4-null mice were viable and grossly indistinguishable from their littermate controls, indicating dispensability of these two members of the Foxo transcription factor family for normal vascular development. Foxo3a-null females showed age-dependent infertility and had abnormal ovarian follicular development. In contrast, histological analyses of Foxo4-null mice did not identify any consistent abnormalities. These results demonstrate that the physiological roles of Foxo genes are functionally diverse in mammals.
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  58. (2004) Hu MC, Lee DF, Xia W, Golfman LS, Ou-Yang F, Yang JY, Zou Y, Bao S, Hanada N, Saso H, Kobayashi R, Hung MC. IkappaB kinase promotes tumorigenesis through inhibition of forkhead FOXO3a. Cell, 117(2):225-37.
    Nuclear exclusion of the forkhead transcription factor FOXO3a by protein kinase Akt contributes to cell survival. We investigated the pathological relationship between phosphoylated-Akt (Akt-p) and FOXO3a in primary tumors. Surprisingly, FOXO3a was found to be excluded from the nuclei of some tumors lacking Akt-p, suggesting an Akt-independent mechanism of regulating FOXO3a localization. We provide evidence for such a mechanism by showing that IkappaB kinase (IKK) physically interacts with, phosphorylates, and inhibits FOXO3a independent of Akt and causes proteolysis of FOXO3a via the Ub-dependent proteasome pathway. Cytoplasmic FOXO3a correlates with expression of IKKbeta or Akt-p in many tumors and associates with poor survival in breast cancer. Further, constitutive expression of IKKbeta promotes cell proliferation and tumorigenesis that can be overridden by FOXO3a. These results suggest the negative regulation of FOXO factors by IKK as a key mechanism for promoting cell growth and tumorigenesis.
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  59. (2004) Fernández de Mattos S, Essafi A, Soeiro I, Pietersen AM, Birkenkamp KU, Edwards CS, Martino A, Nelson BH, Francis JM, Jones MC, Brosens JJ, Coffer PJ, Lam EW. FoxO3a and BCR-ABL regulate cyclin D2 transcription through a STAT5/BCL6-dependent mechanism. Mol. Cell. Biol., 24(22):10058-71.
    Cell cycle arrest by FoxO transcription factors involves transcriptional repression of cyclin D, although the exact mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we used the BCR-ABL-expressing cell line BV173 as a model system to investigate the mechanisms whereby FoxO3a regulates cyclin D2 expression. Inhibition of BCR-ABL by STI571 results in down-regulation of cyclin D2 expression, activation of FoxO3a activity, and up-regulation of BCL6 expression. Using reporter gene assays, we demonstrate that STI571, FoxO3a, and BCL6 can repress cyclin D2 transcription through a STAT5/BCL6 site located within the cyclin D2 promoter. We propose that BCR-ABL inhibition leads to FoxO3a activation, which in turn induces the expression of BCL6, culminating in the repression of cyclin D2 transcription through this STAT5/BCL6 site. This process was verified by mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses. We find that conditional activation of FoxO3a leads to accumulation of BCL6 and down-regulation of cyclin D2 at protein and mRNA levels. Furthermore, silencing of FoxO3a and BCL6 in BCR-ABL-expressing cells abolishes STI571-mediated effects on cyclin D2. This report establishes the signaling events whereby BCR-ABL signals are relayed to cyclin D2 to mediate cell cycle progression and defines a potential mechanism by which FoxO proteins regulate cyclin D2 expression.
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  60. (2004) Guo S, Sonenshein GE. Forkhead box transcription factor FOXO3a regulates estrogen receptor alpha expression and is repressed by the Her-2/neu/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway. Mol. Cell. Biol., 24(19):8681-90.
    The expression status of the estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) and that of the epidermal growth factor receptor Her-2/neu frequently correlate inversely in breast cancers. While ERalpha-dependent cancers respond to antiestrogen therapy, Her-2/neu-overexpressing cancers typically display resistance to antiestrogens and poor prognosis. In this report we have explored the mechanism linking the loss of expression of ERalpha in breast cancer cells with overexpression of Her-2/neu, which signals constitutively via a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt kinase pathway. We identify for the first time the Forkhead box protein FOXO3a (formerly termed FKHRL-1), which is inactivated by Akt, as a key regulator of ERalpha gene transcription. In breast cancer cell lines, expression of ERalpha was correlated with active FOXO3a levels. Ectopic FOXO3a expression induced ERalpha protein levels and promoter activity, while a dominant negative FOXO3a decreased ERalpha levels. By using transient transfection, mobility shift assays, and site-directed mutagenesis, two major functional Forkhead binding sites were identified in the human ERalpha promoter B. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay confirmed FOXO3a binding at these two sites. Ectopic FOXO3a induced estrogen response element-driven reporter activity and expression of ERalpha target genes. The constitutively activated myristylated Akt reduced ERalpha expression, whereas agents that negatively affect the PI3K/Akt pathway, i.e., wortmannin, celecoxib, and the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3 gallate, induced ERalpha. Thus, FOXO3a represents an important intracellular mediator of ERalpha expression, suggesting possible therapeutic intervention strategies for Her-2/neu-overexpressing refractory breast tumors.
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  61.  review article 
    (2003) Brenkman AB, Burgering BM. FoxO3a eggs on fertility and aging. , 9(11):464-7.
    The FoxO transcription factors (FoxO1a, 3a and 4) comprise a small subfamily of the Forkhead transcription factor family. An increasing number of studies has provided genetic evidence showing that Forkhead transcription factors control crucial steps in embryogenesis and are essential for the development of all germ layers and organs (for a recent review, see Ref. ). A recent study by Castrillon et al. has now added a function for FoxO3a in the control of follicular development.
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  62. (2003) Rudd MD, Johnston DA, Kazianis S, Butler AP. Cloning and analysis of a FoxO transcription factor from Xiphophorus. Gene, 302(1-2):31-41.
    Melanoma development in the fish Xiphophorus is determined, at least in part, by overexpression and activation of the Xmrk-2 oncogene, which triggers a variety of signal transduction pathways resulting in altered cell cycle control. We have begun analysing transcription factors which may link Xmrk-2 with regulation of cell proliferation or apoptosis. Towards this end, we have cloned an FKHR (FoxO sub-family) homolog from Xiphophorus maculatus. The isolated clone is a 2.7 kb cDNA encoding a predicted protein of 664 amino acids. The gene, which we have named FoxO5, maps to Xiphophorus Linkage Group XV. The protein product can be categorized within a branch of the FOXO sub-class, which includes: Danio rerio zFKHR (foxo5), Homo sapiens FKHR-L1 (FoxO3a) and Mus musculus FKHR2 (Foxo3). Notably, the Forkhead DNA binding domain, three Akt consensus phosphorylation sites and a carboxy-terminal minimal activation domain are each highly conserved. A mutated FoxO5 protein with disrupted Akt phosphorylation sites inhibits proliferation, but the wild-type protein fails to do so, when exogenously expressed in Xiphophorus cells derived from a melanoma. The same mutated protein predominantly localizes to the nucleus, yet the wild-type protein seldom does. Further characterization of Xiphophorus FoxO5 will contribute to understanding the molecular basis of carcinogenesis in these species.
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  63. (2003) Castrillon DH, Miao L, Kollipara R, Horner JW, DePinho RA. Suppression of ovarian follicle activation in mice by the transcription factor Foxo3a. Science, 301(5630):215-8.
    Foxo transcription factors have been implicated in diverse biological processes, including metabolism, cellular stress responses, and aging. Here, we show that Foxo3a-/- female mice exhibit a distinctive ovarian phenotype of global follicular activation leading to oocyte death, early depletion of functional ovarian follicles, and secondary infertility. Foxo3a thus functions at the earliest stages of follicular growth as a suppressor of follicular activation. In addition to providing a molecular entry point for studying the regulation of follicular growth, these results raise the possibility that accelerated follicular initiation plays a role in premature ovarian failure, a common cause of infertility and premature aging in women.
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  64. (2002) Tran H, Brunet A, Grenier JM, Datta SR, Fornace AJ, DiStefano PS, Chiang LW, Greenberg ME. DNA repair pathway stimulated by the forkhead transcription factor FOXO3a through the Gadd45 protein. Science, 296(5567):530-4.
    The signaling pathway from phosphoinositide 3-kinase to the protein kinase Akt controls organismal life-span in invertebrates and cell survival and proliferation in mammals by inhibiting the activity of members of the FOXO family of transcription factors. We show that mammalian FOXO3a also functions at the G2 to M checkpoint in the cell cycle and triggers the repair of damaged DNA. By gene array analysis, FOXO3a was found to modulate the expression of several genes that regulate the cellular response to stress at the G2-M checkpoint. The growth arrest and DNA damage response gene Gadd45a appeared to be a direct target of FOXO3a that mediates part of FOXO3a's effects on DNA repair. These findings indicate that in mammals FOXO3a regulates the resistance of cells to stress by inducing DNA repair and thereby may also affect organismal life-span.
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  65. (2002) Kops GJ, Dansen TB, Polderman PE, Saarloos I, Wirtz KW, Coffer PJ, Huang TT, Bos JL, Medema RH, Burgering BM. Forkhead transcription factor FOXO3a protects quiescent cells from oxidative stress. Nature, 419(6904):316-21.
    Reactive oxygen species are required for cell proliferation but can also induce apoptosis. In proliferating cells this paradox is solved by the activation of protein kinase B (PKB; also known as c-Akt), which protects cells from apoptosis. By contrast, it is unknown how quiescent cells that lack PKB activity are protected against cell death induced by reactive oxygen species. Here we show that the PKB-regulated Forkhead transcription factor FOXO3a (also known as FKHR-L1) protects quiescent cells from oxidative stress by directly increasing their quantities of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) messenger RNA and protein. This increase in protection from reactive oxygen species antagonizes apoptosis caused by glucose deprivation. In quiescent cells that lack the protective mechanism of PKB-mediated signalling, an alternative mechanism is induced as a consequence of PKB inactivity. This mechanism entails the activation of Forkhead transcription factors, the transcriptional activation of MnSOD and the subsequent reduction of reactive oxygen species. Increased resistance to oxidative stress is associated with longevity. The model of Forkhead involvement in regulating longevity stems from genetic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans, and we conclude that this model also extends to mammalian systems.
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  66. (2002) Tang TT, Dowbenko D, Jackson A, Toney L, Lewin DA, Dent AL, Lasky LA. The forkhead transcription factor AFX activates apoptosis by induction of the BCL-6 transcriptional repressor. J. Biol. Chem., 277(16):14255-65.
    The activation of the AKT/protein kinase B kinases by mutation of the PTEN lipid phosphatase results in enhanced survival of a diversity of tumors. This resistance to apoptosis is partly accomplished by the inhibition of genetic programs induced by a subfamily of forkhead transcription factors including AFX. Here we describe an AFX-regulated pathway that appears to account for at least part of this apoptotic regulatory system. Cells induced to synthesize an active form of AFX die by activating the apoptotic death pathway. An analysis of genes regulated by AFX demonstrated that BCL-6, a transcriptional repressor, is up-regulated approximately 4-7-fold. An examination of the BCL-6 promoter demonstrated that AFX bound to specific target sites that could activate transcription. BCL-X(L), an anti-apoptotic protein, contains potential BCL-6 target sites in its promoter. An analysis of endogenous BCL-X(L) levels in AFX-expressing cells revealed enhanced down-regulation of the transcript ( approximately 1.3-1.7-fold) and protein, and BCL-6 directly binds to and suppresses the BCL-X(L) promoter. Finally, macrophages isolated from BCL-6-/- mice show enhanced survival in vitro. These results suggest that AFX regulates apoptosis in part by suppressing the levels of anti-apoptotic BCL-XL through the transcriptional repressor BCL-6.
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  67. (2002) Furuyama T, Yamashita H, Kitayama K, Higami Y, Shimokawa I, Mori N. Effects of aging and caloric restriction on the gene expression of Foxo1, 3, and 4 (FKHR, FKHRL1, and AFX) in the rat skeletal muscles. Microsc. Res. Tech., 59(4):331-4.
    In C. elegans, insulin-like hormone signal pathway plays a significant role in longevity. In particular, daf-16 gene product is indispensable factor for this lifespan-extension. This signal pathway is critical for dauer formation, which is a similar state to hibernation in mammals. We examined the expression level of mammalian daf-16 homologues, Foxo 1,3, and 4 (FKHR, FKHRL1, and AFX) mRNAs in the rat skeletal muscles during aging and in 30% caloric restricted of ad libitum fed. The expression level of AFX mRNA was significantly higher at 6 and 12 months than at 3 and 26 months, and FKHRL1 expression was significantly higher at 6 months than at 3 and 26 months but FKHR expression showed no significant change with age. We observed a characteristic expression of AFX and FKHR mRNAs to be significantly higher in the second day in caloric restriction by every-other-day feeding than in ad libitum fed. This suggests that caloric restriction may increase the expression of FKHR-family genes and prevent the aging process in the skeletal muscles.
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  68. (2000) Furuyama T, Nakazawa T, Nakano I, Mori N. Identification of the differential distribution patterns of mRNAs and consensus binding sequences for mouse DAF-16 homologues. Biochem. J., 349(Pt 2):629-34.
    daf-16 is a forkhead-type transcription factor, functioning downstream of insulin-like signals, and is known to be critical to the regulation of life span in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mammalian DAF-16 homologues include AFX, FKHR and FKHRL1, which contain a conserved forkhead domain and three putative phosphorylation sites for the Ser/Thr kinase Akt/protein kinase B (PKB), as well as for DAF-16. To assess the function of the homologues, we examined tissue distribution patterns of mRNAs for DAF-16 homologues in mice. In the embryos, expressions of AFX, FKHR and FKHRL1 mRNAs were complementary to each other and were highest in muscle, adipose tissue and embryonic liver. The characteristic expression pattern remained in the adult, except that signals of FKHRL1 became evident in more tissues, including the brain. In order to clarify whether each DAF-16 homologue had different target genes, we determined the consensus sequences for the binding of DAF-16 and the mouse homologues. The binding sequences for all four proteins shared a core sequence, TTGTTTAC, daf-16 family protein-binding element (DBE) binding protein. However, electrophoretic mobility shift assay showed that the binding affinity of DAF-16 homologues to the core sequence was stronger than that to the insulin-responsive element in the insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 promoter region, which has been identified as a binding sequence for them. We identified one copy of the DBE upstream of the first exon of sod-3 by searching the genomic database of C. elegans. Taken together, DAF-16 homologues can fundamentally regulate the common target genes in insulin-responsive tissues and the specificity to target genes of each protein is partially determined by the differences in their expression patterns.
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  69. (1993) Hollander MC, Alamo I, Jackman J, Wang MG, McBride OW, Fornace AJ. Analysis of the mammalian gadd45 gene and its response to DNA damage. J. Biol. Chem., 268(32):24385-93.
    The gadd45 gene is transcriptionally activated through at least two different mechanisms; one following treatment with base-damaging agents such as methylmethane sulfonate and UV radiation and the other following ionizing radiation. To investigate the sequences involved in induction of gadd45 by agents producing high levels of base damage, the hamster, human, and mouse genes were sequenced. Comparison of these sequences revealed a high level of conservation between species of 1500 base pairs of the proximal promoter and 700 base pairs within the third intron. However, in the promoter regions, there was no conservation between species of any transcription factor binding sites known to confer DNA damage responsiveness. The promoter of the hamster gene was inducible by base-damaging agents in both rodent and human cell lines and the human gene was inducible in a rodent cell line. This indicates that both sequence elements in the gadd45 promoter and factors binding to these sites are conserved in mammalian cells. Deletion analysis of the hamster promoter did not reveal any specific sequence which conferred damage inducibility and the maximal response required a large portion of the promoter. The hamster promoter was not inducible by ionizing radiation, suggesting that sequences outside the promoter region used, such as a p53 binding site in the third intron, are necessary. The human GADD45 gene was mapped to chromosome 1p31.1-31.2.
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  1. (2015) Wang F, Marshall CB, Ikura M. Forkhead followed by disordered tail: The intrinsically disordered regions of FOXO3a. Intrinsically Disord Proteins, 3(1):e1056906.
    Forkhead box Class O is one of 19 subfamilies of the Forkhead box family, comprising 4 human transcription factors: FOXO1, FOXO3a, FOXO4, and FOXO6, which are involved in many crucial cellular processes. FOXO3a is a tumor suppressor involved in multiple physiological and pathological processes, and plays essential roles in metabolism, cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, and apoptosis. In its role as a transcription factor, the FOXO3a binds a consensus Forkhead response element DNA sequence, and recruits transcriptional coactivators to activate gene transcription. FOXO3a has additional functions, such as regulating p53-mediated apoptosis and activating kinase ATM. With the exception of the structured DNA-binding forkhead domain, most of the FOXO3a sequence comprises intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs), including 3 regions (CR1-3) that are conserved within the FOXO subfamily. Numerous studies have demonstrated that these IDRs directly mediate many of the diverse functions of FOXO3a. These regions contain post-translational modification and protein-protein interaction sites that integrate upstream signals to maintain homeostasis. Thus, the FOXO3a IDRs are emerging as key mediators of diverse regulatory processes, and represent an important target for the future development of therapeutics for FOXO3a-related diseases.
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